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Relying on Others – Memphis Democrat

Rabbits pose for a picture to send to Aurelia, whos away at camp. Photo by Aaron.

Saturday morning I went out for my normal Ultimate engagement with my many friends who like to chase flying plastic, but had to sign a couple releases before I could play. Rae and Aaron, who play Ultimate with us now and again, as well as serving on our Outreach committee and running a private business engaged in the production and good use of video and audio content related to community, had arrived with gear. Rae with a digital camera took video from the sidelines as we played. A drone flown by Aaron took aerial footage at the same time, which required us to ignore a flying thing in a game focused on a different flying thing. I found this surprisingly difficult, but Im always excited to be able to review our play. Theyll be taking more footage of village activities over the coming days.

Ted here with the news from this past week at our fair ecovillage here in steamy northeast Missouri.

Ive lately come to realize that Ultimate (formerly known as Ultimate Frisbee, but then shortened owing to the specific brand-name reference) is a great reference for community living as a whole. I cant play Ultimate unless at least five other players show up, and that only gets us a three-on-three game, which is tiring owing to so much running (seven-on-seven is regulation). So for a fun game of any length, Im hoping for eight or more people to show up when we play. I rely on that many or more for an essential part of my happiness a couple times a week. And that is just in one realm- most other parts of my life also rely on others, like those that milk and tend goats at pasture, without which I could not make cheese. Thanks to all my compatriots!

For the second year, a group of students and their group leaders from Earth Dance Farm in Ferguson, MO came to Dancing Rabbit early this past week for a variety of learning sessions, including natural building and food preservation. I spoke with them for a couple hours Tuesday, during which we worked with a basic goat cheese at several different stages, and also made sauerkraut from start to finish, including the students harvesting the cabbage and walking away each with a pint-full of kraut ready to begin fermenting. Sort of like bringing home a pet, those ferments It was great to deepen that relationship with the organization and the students, and felt great to connect with them around the many things were trying to do to live lightly on the earth.

My own child Aurelia has been away at camp a week now, a place called Camp Kupugani in northwestern Illinois, which bills itself (and does feel very much like) a multicultural camp. That was one of our hopes for her first camp experience, and were pleased to find it not so far away.

In dropping her off there last weekend, there inevitably came the moment when I had to say goodbye for two weeks to my kid whod never been without some family or close friends for more than a day in her life. She started with whispers soon after arrival of Do I have to stay?, which soon became I dont want you to leave!, and ended at that moment we both knew was coming, when she tried hard to smile at me and say goodbye while crying as she stayed at her cabin and I started to walk away and I forced myself to keep walking away, looking over my shoulder a few times but never seeing her running after me as I half-imagined. I had a lot of time for thought and some tears driving home alone for five hours. Very excited to pick her up again this coming weekend and carry her home again, and to see what she carries home with her.

The camp posts several dozen pictures of the campers each day, so that weve been able to catch glimpses of Aurelia with a smile on her face, having fun, and know shes ok. She does not have the same ability to check in in return, but she seems like shes doing alright with that. I know I survived and loved going to camp (even though there was no internet in those days), and Im sure it is a good thing for her sense of independence, but I have new respect for my parents for letting me go back then.

At our Sunday meeting here in the village we gathered a bunch of us together for a photo to send Aurelia for the next mail day (which includes the ability to send emails with photos), and I wish I could be a fly on the wall when she receives these reminders of home.

The weather round these parts has been consistently warm, though I felt grateful this past week for a low-likelihood 2 rain that fell all night long, and a few nights in the mid-60s that allowed us to throw open all the windows during the dark hours and recharge the coolth of our homes interior mass. I shouldnt be surprised by hot summer weather, and indeed I do enjoy the relief of jumping in the pond to cool off most days, sometimes repeatedly.

Chelsea and Kelsey, Ironweed work exchangers through early August, helped me this week to get our four newer, bigger solar panels lifted onto the tracking rack we have behind the kitchen, taking down two smaller ones to make space. The rack passively tracks the sun through the day with the aid of sun-activated hydraulics, boosting the effective efficiency by up to 30%. Ive had to dig out some long-stored bits and pieces to get everything wired out and back, and meanwhile relied solely on the original eight panels we put up in 2004. We have acquired a lot of additional uses of power in the meantime the motivation to complete the wiring is high.

We also mixed up some earthen plaster, and they each worked on plastering some earthbag walls in our root cellar that had never been finished. It is one of the few places that feels truly cool without air conditioning on these hot days, so it was a good fit with the weather. Also in the cellar we built another set of tall and deep shelves for carboys, winter veggie storage, and more, significantly increasing the functionality of the space.

Saturday the 15th marked a year since our friend Dennis left the physical plane, to commemorate which we all gathered in the evening out on Mullein Hill where he is buried to remember him, to hold Sharon and each other, and to witness the unveiling of his grave marker. Thomas, in creative consultation with Sharon, has built a beautiful marker that incorporates a bicycle wheel (Dennis was a tireless bike advocate) into a carved wooden monument that perfectly meets the space and the need we each have to remember. We miss you, Dennis.

If all that wasnt enough for one week, Sunday morning a handful of folks met with an archivist from the University of Southern Indiana who is interested in acquiring historical materials related to the founding and growth of our ecovillage. USIs Communal Studies Collection already contains photos and documents from all kinds of communities historical and contemporary, and includes documents from both the Fellowship for Intentional Community and the Federation of Egalitarian Communities. Now our various decision-making bodies will engage in identifying all the sorts of things wed feel good about sharing with this research-oriented collection, with an eye toward preserving our documents for the long term and furthering the understanding of intentional communities in the wider culture.

To close out the week we held the second of two plenary meetings to select the community members wholl next serve on the Village Council alongside the three mid-term members Mae, Cob, and Tereza. Newer villager Christina will now join for the first time (cheers for new village governance energy!), and I will return for a second two-year term. We had a longer list of willing candidates this year than usual, which bodes well for our collective future.

Heres hoping July, historically our wettest month, chooses to drop some more substantive rain on the village to keep our gardens chugging along. Javi had the first tomatoes for sale at our weekly meeting on Sunday, and Im looking forward to ours. May your gardens also grow vigorously wherever they may be!

Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is an intentional community and educational nonprofit outside Rutledge, MO, focused on demonstrating sustainable living possibilities. We offer public tours of the village on the 2nd and 4th Saturdays of the month, April-October; the next is this Saturday, July 22nd at 1 pm. Reservations not required. Tours are free, though donations to help us continue our educational and outreach efforts are gratefully accepted. For directions, call the office at 660-883-5511 or email us at dancingrabbit@ic.org. To find out more about us, you can also check out our website: http://www.dancingrabbit.org.

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Relying on Others – Memphis Democrat

New office to police $60 million Philly spends on antiviolence programs – Philly.com

Although Philadelphia spends $60million a year on antiviolence programs, homicides are up 21 percent over last year and aggravated assaults with a gun are up by more than 4 percent, according to police.

Its totally unacceptable, Councilman Kenyatta Johnson said. If youre spending $60 million and shootings are increasing and homicides are increasing, then something is wrong with the strategies.

On Tuesday, Mayor Kenney announced the establishment of the Office of Violence Prevention, which willgauge the effectiveness of the dozens of existing antiviolence programs in the city that receive a portion of the $60 million in city funding.Individual evaluations of programs have been conducted before, but this is thefirst citywide and coordinated evaluation, according to mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Hitt.

We felt the need to assess whether all that money was being spent well and whether we were measuring the outcome of our investments, Hitt said.

The new office isalso charged with researching the latest trends and innovationsinviolence prevention, andit will serve as an umbrella for all other city-run violence-prevention programs. Similarinitiatives are already in place in New Orleans and New York, Hitt said.

Johnson, who applauded Kenney for forming the office, said hes glad itwill look at violence-prevention strategies from a coordinated perspective in a city where oftentimes the left hand doesnt know what the right hand is doing.

He said he hopes agencies on the groundnot currently receiving city funding might have the opportunity toobtain funding under the new office and he hopes those research groups that do receive funding but never set their feet on the ground are reevaluated.

I know for a fact you have some hardworking antiviolence activists out on a daily basis who dont have a chance at funding and you have organizations that are great at analysis, but theyre not actually out in the community touching people, he said. Lets make sure were being effective and intentional with our strategies of reducing gun violence.

Kenney appointed Shondell Revell, 48, who most recently served as the executive director of the citys Youth Violence Reduction Partnership, as the executive director of the new office. Revell, who will be supported by four staffers, said his office will reach out to antiviolence groups currently receiving city funding and to the communities they serve.

This office doesnt believe that throwing money at violence prevention is the answer, Revell said. We have to do a really complete evaluation of the programs in the community. A program can be great, but if the community doesnt gravitate to it, it wont be effective at all.

The announcement of the creation of the office comes less than three weeks after Inquirer and Daily News columnist Helen Ubias called for the city to hold antiviolence programs accountable, butHitt said plans for the office have been in motion since January.

According to police, 1,222 cases of aggravated assaultwith a gun had been reported in Philadelphia as of July 16,up from 1,169 at the same time last year. As of July 17, the city had marked 169 homicides this year, up from 140 at the same time last year.

Published: July 19, 2017 11:42 AM EDT

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New office to police $60 million Philly spends on antiviolence programs – Philly.com

Opinion: Riverview Village aims to improve quality of life for mentally ill – Vancouver Sun

Historic calendar photo of Riverview Hospital. It opened in 1913 and at one time had 4,500 patients and 2,200 staff. Vancouver Sun

We fret about the future of the Riverview lands as if they were an idyllic place fixed in time, where any change to the way we use the lands, or any imaginative idea for them, is hard to countenance.

We should instead ask ourselves how the lands can best be used to help those who suffer from serious mental illness the historical legacy of Riverview and take it from there.

With that as our imperative, were proposing, as the backbone of the lands, an intentional community in which those with serious mental illness, stabilized in acute and tertiary care, will live together with others without a mental illness in an integrated community purpose-built to help the seriously mentally ill flourish.

Weve named the proposed community Riverview Village. Its a new and innovative option for the future.

A little bit of clinical background will help to understand the rationale, because the introduction of antipsychotics for those with schizophrenia has changed the paradigm from the days of the old Riverview Hospital.

Before antipsychotics, there was no satisfactory treatment for psychosis, with its delusions, hallucinations, paranoia, and related symptoms like catatonia. Antipsychotics deal with these symptoms and in most cases stabilize people, after which they can be discharged from hospital. Its why we no longer need a huge, institutional treatment complex on the Riverview lands, with a correspondingly huge number of patients and staff.

What happens after discharge, though? Antipsychotics dont help reintegrate people into society or expand their horizons. And, indeed, theres a whole other range of symptoms, ongoing chronic symptoms, that for many of those with schizophrenia pose great difficulty. Profound loss of motivation often accompanies such illness (avolition its called, in clinical language). Poor social interactions are another difficulty, exacerbated for many by their having fallen ill in their late teens when social skills are usually developed.

Dampened feelings and responsiveness, trouble with rhythm and clarity of speech, slowed movement, and cognitive deficit can be other difficulties.

These problems do not respond well to existing treatments. Unlike antipsychotics for psychotic symptoms, for example, theres currently no effective medication for them. Also, unlike acute-care treatment which is relatively brief, these challenges may last for the rest of peoples lives. Many people end up isolated and languish, with limited activities and seemingly bleak futures. They are said to be in the community, which sounds nice, but theyre not of the community. As long as they dont cause trouble, we may in fact not have any contact with them at all.

The intentional community were proposing both recognizes and addresses this new paradigm, where antipsychotics allow for deinstitutionalization but continuing chronic symptoms endure.

In the proposed community, those with a mental illness will establish real relationships with those without a mental illness, breaking their isolation. A community centre will anchor the village and a wide range of activities. Meaningful work will be arranged for those who can manage it. An arts hub is proposed, with studios and retail shops, whereby the mentally ill can connect with artists and craftspeople, and where those with an aptitude become part of that artistic community and sell their work. Community facilitators will help bring people together and keep the community vibrant.

Most of all, Riverview Village will give those with serious mental illness a true sense of belonging. It will bring the strength of community to bear, something already demonstrated in existing intentional communities with therapeutic objectives.

There will be critical clinical benefits as well from this community engagement and support. Relapses going through the revolving door in and out of acute care or the justice system will be reduced, with economic savings as a bonus. Acute and tertiary beds will be freed up, and also freed up by the increased access to housing.

Keep in mind what the goal is here: to help those with serious and persistent mental illness contend with their residual chronic symptoms and achieve a better quality of life.

Make no mistake, either, about how challenging those difficulties are and the degree of attention we should give to them. Even if theyre not dramatic and intrusive like psychosis, theyre every bit as serious in their own way. Dawn Velligan and Larry Alphs, two American specialists on the subject, remind us, in a clinical article in the Psychiatric Times, it may be that the negative (chronic, enduring) symptoms of schizophrenia contribute more to poor functional outcomes and quality of life for individuals with schizophrenia than do (psychotic) symptoms.

This is where the Riverview lands offer a unique possibility a community that those with a serious mental illness will be able to consider their own and where they will have the best chance to flourish.

Herschel Hardin is president of the Riverview Village Intentional Community Society.

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Opinion: Riverview Village aims to improve quality of life for mentally ill – Vancouver Sun

New Report: About A Third Of Democratic State Party Staffers Are Minorities – BuzzFeed News

The advocacy group that successfully lobbied the campaigns of both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders to self-report their diversity data has a new report out on diversity inside Democratic state campaigns.

Inclusv, the group founded in 2015 to promote racial diversity and inclusion in national politics, says that 32% of all staffers employed by 40 state parties (and the DC Democratic Party) are people of color.

According to Inclusv’s data, white staffers make up nearly three-quarters of all staff in state parties. Latinos made up just 8% of staff inside state parties, while black Americans made up 14.5%. Almost 40% of the staffers of color came from either Florida, California, Ohio, North Carolina, or Virginia.

The group views state parties as a key area for talent development at the national level, from campaigns to candidates themselves, and holds that state parties with more diverse staffs are more attentive to the needs of constituency groups. It comes off the heels of the Democratic National Committee establishing a $10 million fund that would allow state parties to compete for grants to bolster their efforts, and an added commitment that all state parties would receive $10,000 monthly from the DNC through 2018.

Sabrina Singh, deputy communications director for the DNC, said that Democrats are committed to hiring diverse and talented staff that reflects the diversity of the Democratic party. As we continue to rebuild the party, we know this is a top priority and we are happy to work with Inclusv to further diversify our state parties.

Alida Garcia, executive director of Inclusv, told BuzzFeed News that although the group is enthused by the state parties’ willingness to participate, it’s more interested in the implementation of its recommendation. Their roadmap will help build state parties that are “more structurally accountable to communities of color,” said Garcia.

“Demography is not destiny for the Democratic Party, and our communities deserve intentional decisions from the state parties to include us at all tables deciding our futures,” she said.

State parties that did not participate in the study include Nevada, Mississippi, Kentucky, and New Jersey.

Its an urgent matter that the party improves upon these numbers and increase the depth of its reach into communities of color,” Garcia said. “Our communities sometimes feel as though Democrats treat us like an ATM, stopping by every two to four years to withdraw our votes, time and money. If Democrats want to get the turnout they need from non-white voters in an increasingly diverse country, they must seriously devote themselves to building a corps of leaders that better reflect the breadth of a big tent party.

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New Report: About A Third Of Democratic State Party Staffers Are Minorities – BuzzFeed News

How Long Would It Take To Travel To The Nearest Star …

Weve all asked this question at some point in our lives: How long would it take to travel to the stars? Could it be within a persons own lifetime, and could this kind of travel become the norm someday? There are many possible answers to this question some very simple, others in the realms of science fiction. But coming up with a comprehensive answer means taking a lot of things into consideration.

Unfortunately, any realistic assessment is likely to produce answers that would totally discourage futurists and enthusiasts of interstellar travel. Like it or not, space is very large, and our technology is still very limited. But should we ever contemplate leaving the nest, we will have a range of options for getting to the nearest Solar Systems in our galaxy.

The nearest star to Earth is our Sun, which is a fairly average star in the Hertzsprung Russell Diagrams Main Sequence. This means that it is highly stable, providing Earth with just the right type of sunlight for life to evolve on our planet. We know there are planets orbiting other stars near to our Solar System, and many of these stars are similar to our own.

In the future, should mankind wish to leave the Solar System, well have a huge choice of stars we could travel to, and many could have the right conditions for life to thrive. But where would we go and how long would it take for us to get there? Just remember, this is all speculative and there is currently no benchmark for interstellar trips. That being said, here we go!

Over 2000 exoplanets have been identified, many of which are believed to be habitable. Credit: phl.upl.edu

As already noted, the closest star to our Solar System is Proxima Centauri, which is why it makes the most sense to plot an interstellar mission to this system first. As part of a triple star system called Alpha Centauri, Proxima is about 4.24 light years (or 1.3 parsecs) from Earth. Alpha Centauri is actually the brightest star of the three in the system part of a closely orbiting binary 4.37 light years from Earth whereas Proxima Centauri (the dimmest of the three) is an isolated red dwarf about 0.13 light years from the binary.

And while interstellar travel conjures up all kinds of visions of Faster-Than-Light (FTL) travel, ranging from warp speed and wormholes to jump drives, such theories are either highly speculative (such as the Alcubierre Drive) or entirely the province of science fiction. In all likelihood, any deep space mission will likely take generations to get there, rather than a few days or in an instantaneous flash.

So, starting with one of the slowest forms of space travel, how long will it take to get to Proxima Centauri?

The question of how long would it take to get somewhere in space is somewhat easier when dealing with existing technology and bodies within our Solar System. For instance, using the technology that powered the New Horizons mission which consisted of 16 thrusters fueled with hydrazine monopropellant reaching the Moon would take a mere 8 hours and 35 minutes.

On the other hand, there is the European Space Agencys (ESA) SMART-1 mission, which took its time traveling to the Moon using the method of ionic propulsion. With this revolutionary technology, a variation of which has since been used by the Dawn spacecraft to reach Vesta, the SMART-1 mission took one year, one month and two weeks to reach the Moon.

So, from the speedy rocket-propelled spacecraft to the economical ion drive, we have a few options for getting around local space plus we could use Jupiter or Saturn for a hefty gravitational slingshot. However, if we were to contemplate missions to somewhere a little more out of the way, we would have to scale up our technology and look at whats really possible.

When we say possible methods, we are talking about those that involve existing technology, or those that do not yet exist, but are technically feasible. Some, as you will see, are time-honored and proven, while others are emerging or still on the board. In just about all cases though, they present a possible, but extremely time-consuming or expensive, scenario for getting to even the closest stars

Ionic Propulsion: Currently, the slowest form of propulsion, and the most fuel-efficient, is the ion engine. A few decades ago, ionic propulsion was considered to be the subject of science fiction. However, in recent years, the technology to support ion engines has moved from theory to practice in a big way. The ESAs SMART-1 mission for example successfully completed its mission to the Moon after taking a 13 month spiral path from the Earth.

SMART-1 used solar powered ion thrusters, where electrical energy was harvested from its solar panels and used to power its Hall-effect thrusters. Only 82 kg of xenon propellant was used to propel SMART-1 to the Moon. 1 kg of xenon propellant provided a delta-v of 45 m/s. This is a highly efficient form of propulsion, but it is by no means fast.

Artists concept of Dawn mission above Ceres. Since its arrival, the spacecraft turned around to point the blue glow of its ion engine in the opposite direction. Image credit: NASA/JPL

One of the first missions to use ion drive technology was the Deep Space 1 mission to Comet Borrelly that took place in 1998. DS1 also used a xenon-powered ion drive, consuming 81.5 kg of propellant. Over 20 months of thrusting, DS1 was managed to reach a velocity of 56,000 km/hr (35,000 miles/hr) during its flyby of the comet.

Ion thrusters are therefore more economical than rocket technology, as the thrust per unit mass of propellant (a.k.a. specific impulse) is far higher. But it takes a long time for ion thrusters to accelerate spacecraft to any great speeds, and the maximum velocity it can achieve is dependent on its fuel supply and how much electrical energy it can generate.

So if ionic propulsion were to be used for a mission to Proxima Centauri, the thrusters would need a huge source of energy production (i.e. nuclear power) and a large quantity of propellant (although still less than conventional rockets). But based on the assumption that a supply of 81.5 kg of xenon propellant translates into a maximum velocity of 56,000 km/hr (and that there are no other forms of propulsion available, such as a gravitational slingshot to accelerate it further), some calculations can be made.

In short, at a maximum velocity of 56,000 km/h, Deep Space 1 would take over 81,000 years to traverse the 4.24 light years between Earth and Proxima Centauri. To put that time-scale into perspective, that would be over 2,700 human generations. So it is safe to say that an interplanetary ion engine mission would be far too slow to be considered for a manned interstellar mission.

Ionic propulsion is currently the slowest, but most fuel-efficient, form of space travel. Credit: NASA/JPL

But, should ion thrusters be made larger and more powerful (i.e. ion exhaust velocity would need to be significantly higher), and enough propellant could be hauled to keep the spacecrafts going for the entire 4.243 light-year trip, that travel time could be greatly reduced. Still not enough to happen in someones lifetime though.

Gravity Assist Method:The fastest existing means of space travel is known the Gravity Assist method, which involves a spacecraft using the relative movement (i.e. orbit) and gravity of a planet to alter is path and speed. Gravitational assists are a very useful spaceflight technique, especially when using the Earth or another massive planet (like a gas giant) for a boost in velocity.

The Mariner 10 spacecraft was the first to use this method, using Venus gravitational pull to slingshot it towards Mercury in February of 1974. In the 1980s, the Voyager 1 probe used Saturn and Jupiter for gravitational slingshots to attain its current velocity of 60,000 km/hr (38,000 miles/hr) and make it into interstellar space.

However, it was the Helios 2 mission which was launched in 1976 to study the interplanetary medium from 0.3 AU to 1 AU to the Sun that holds the record for highest speed achieved with a gravity assist. At the time, Helios 1 (which launched in 1974) and Helios 2 held the record for closest approach to the Sun. Helios 2 was launched by a conventional NASA Titan/Centaur launch vehicle and placed in a highly elliptical orbit.

A Helios probe being encapsulated for launch. Credit: Public Domain

Due to the large eccentricity (0.54) of the 190 day solar orbit, at perihelion Helios 2 was able to reach a maximum velocity of over 240,000 km/hr (150,000 miles/hr). This orbital speed was attained by the gravitational pull of the Sun alone. Technically, the Helios 2 perihelion velocity was not a gravitational slingshot, it was a maximum orbital velocity, but it still holds the record for being the fastest man-made object regardless.

So, if Voyager 1 was traveling in the direction of the red dwarf Proxima Centauri at a constant velocity of 60,000 km/hr, it would take 76,000 years (or over 2,500 generations) to travel that distance. But if it could attain the record-breaking speed of Helios 2s close approach of the Sun a constant speed of 240,000 km/hr it would take 19,000 years (or over 600 generations) to travel 4.243 light years. Significantly better, but still not in the ream of practicality.

Electromagnetic (EM) Drive:Another proposed method of interstellar travel comes in the form of the Radio Frequency (RF) Resonant Cavity Thruster, also known as the EM Drive. Originally proposed in 2001 by Roger K. Shawyer, a UK scientist who started Satellite Propulsion Research Ltd (SPR) to bring it to fruition, this drive is built around the idea that electromagnetic microwave cavities can allow for the direct conversion of electrical energy to thrust.

Whereas conventional electromagnetic thrusters are designed to propel a certain type of mass (such as ionized particles), this particular drive system relies on no reaction mass and emits no directional radiation. Such a proposal has met with a great deal of skepticism, mainly because it violates the law of Conservation of Momentum which states that within a system, the amount of momentum remains constant and is neither created nor destroyed, but only changes through the action of forces.

The EM Drive prototype produced by NASA/Eagleworks. Credit: NASA Spaceflight Forum

However, recent experiments with the technology have apparently yielded positive results. In July of 2014, at the 50th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference in Cleveland, Ohio, researchers from NASAs advanced propulsion research claimed that they had successfully tested a new design for an electromagnetic propulsion drive.

This was followed up in April of 2015 when researchers at NASA Eagleworks (part of the Johnson Space Center) claimed that they had successfully tested the drive in a vacuum, an indication that it might actually work in space. In July of that same year, a research team from the Dresden University of Technologys Space System department built their own version of the engine and observed a detectable thrust.

And in 2010, Prof. Juan Yang of the Northwestern Polytechnical University in Xian, China, began publishing a series of papers about her research into EM Drive technology. This culminated in her 2012 paper where she reported higher input power (2.5kW) and tested thrust (720mN) levels. In 2014, she further reported extensive tests involving internal temperature measurements with embedded thermocouples, which seemed to confirm that the system worked.

Artists concept of an interstellar craft equipped with an EM Drive. Credit: NASA Spaceflight Center

According to calculations based on the NASA prototype (which yielded a power estimate of 0.4 N/kilowatt), a spacecraft equipped with the EM drive could make the trip to Pluto in less than 18 months. Thats one-sixth the time it took for the New Horizons probe to get there, which was traveling at speeds of close to 58,000 km/h (36,000 mph).

Sounds impressive. But even at that rate, it would take a ship equipped with EM engines over 13,000 years for the vessel to make it to Proxima Centauri. Getting closer, but not quickly enough! and until such time that technology can be definitively proven to work, it doesnt make much sense to put our eggs into this basket.

Nuclear Thermal and Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NTP/NEP):Another possibility for interstellar space flight is to use spacecraft equipped with nuclear engines, a concept which NASA has been exploring for decades. In a Nuclear Thermal Propulsion (NTP) rocket, uranium or deuterium reactions are used to heat liquid hydrogen inside a reactor, turning it into ionized hydrogen gas (plasma), which is then channeled through a rocket nozzle to generate thrust.

A Nuclear Electric Propulsion (NEP) rocket involves the same basic reactor converting its heat and energy into electrical energy, which would then power an electrical engine. In both cases, the rocket would rely on nuclear fission or fusion to generates propulsion rather than chemical propellants, which has been the mainstay of NASA and all other space agencies to date.

Artists impression of a Crew Transfer Vehicle (CTV) using its nuclear-thermal rocket engines to slow down and establish orbit around Mars. Credit: NASA

Compared to chemical propulsion, both NTP and NEC offers a number of advantages. The first and most obvious is the virtually unlimited energy density it offers compared to rocket fuel. In addition, a nuclear-powered engine could also provide superior thrust relative to the amount of propellant used. This would cut the total amount of propellant needed, thus cutting launch weight and the cost of individual missions.

Although no nuclear-thermal engines have ever flown, several design concepts have been built and tested over the past few decades, and numerous concepts have been proposed. These have ranged from the traditional solid-core design such as the Nuclear Engine for Rocket Vehicle Application (NERVA) to more advanced and efficient concepts that rely on either a liquid or a gas core.

However, despite these advantages in fuel-efficiency and specific impulse, the most sophisticated NTP concept has a maximum specific impulse of 5000 seconds (50 kNs/kg). Using nuclear engines driven by fission or fusion, NASA scientists estimate it would could take a spaceship only 90 days to get to Mars when the planet was at opposition i.e. as close as 55,000,000 km from Earth.

But adjusted for a one-way journey to Proxima Centauri, a nuclear rocket would still take centuries to accelerate to the point where it was flying a fraction of the speed of light. It would then require several decades of travel time, followed by many more centuries of deceleration before reaching it destination. All told, were still talking about 1000 years before it reaches its destination. Good for interplanetary missions, not so good for interstellar ones.

Using existing technology, the time it would take to send scientists and astronauts on an interstellar mission would be prohibitively slow. If we want to make that journey within a single lifetime, or even a generation, something a bit more radical (aka. highly theoretical) will be needed. And while wormholes and jump engines may still be pure fiction at this point, there are some rather advanced ideas that have been considered over the years.

Nuclear Pulse Propulsion:Nuclear pulse propulsion is a theoretically possible form of fast space travel. The concept was originally proposed in 1946 by Stanislaw Ulam, a Polish-American mathematician who participated in the Manhattan Project, and preliminary calculations were then made by F. Reines and Ulam in 1947. The actual project known as Project Orion was initiated in 1958 and lasted until 1963.

The Project Orion concept for a nuclear-powered spacecraft. Credit: silodrome.co

Led by Ted Taylor at General Atomics and physicist Freeman Dyson from the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, Orion hoped to harness the power of pulsed nuclear explosions to provide a huge thrust with very high specific impulse (i.e. the amount of thrust compared to weight or the amount of seconds the rocket can continually fire).

In a nutshell, the Orion design involves a large spacecraft with a high supply of thermonuclear warheads achieving propulsion by releasing a bomb behind it and then riding the detonation wave with the help of a rear-mounted pad called a pusher. After each blast, the explosive force would be absorbed by this pusher pad, which then translates the thrust into forward momentum.

Though hardly elegant by modern standards, the advantage of the design is that it achieves a high specific impulse meaning it extracts the maximum amount of energy from its fuel source (in this case, nuclear bombs) at minimal cost. In addition, the concept could theoretically achieve very high speeds, with some estimates suggesting a ballpark figure as high as 5% the speed of light (or 5.4107 km/hr).

But of course, there the inevitable downsides to the design. For one, a ship of this size would be incredibly expensive to build. According to estimates produced by Dyson in 1968, an Orion spacecraft that used hydrogen bombs to generate propulsion would weight 400,000 to 4,000,000 metric tons. And at least three quarters of that weight consists of nuclear bombs, where each warhead weights approximately 1 metric ton.

Artists concept of Orion spacecraft leaving Earth. Credit: bisbos.com/Adrian Mann

All told, Dysons most conservative estimates placed the total cost of building an Orion craft at 367 billion dollars. Adjusted for inflation, that works out to roughly $2.5 trillion dollars which accounts for over two thirds of the US governments current annual revenue. Hence, even at its lightest, the craft would be extremely expensive to manufacture.

Theres also the slight problem of all the radiation it generates, not to mention nuclear waste. In fact, it is for this reason that the Project is believed to have been terminated, owing to the passage of the Partial Test Ban Treaty of 1963 which sought to limit nuclear testing and stop the excessive release of nuclear fallout into the planets atmosphere.

Fusion Rockets:Another possibility within the realm of harnessed nuclear power involves rockets that rely on thermonuclear reactions to generate thrust. For this concept, energy is created when pellets of a deuterium/helium-3 mix are ignited in a reaction chamber by inertial confinement using electron beams (similar to what is done at the National Ignition Facility in California). This fusion reactor would detonate 250 pellets per second to create high-energy plasma, which would then be directed by a magnetic nozzle to create thrust.

Like a rocket that relies on a nuclear reactor, this concept offers advantages as far as fuel efficiency and specific impulse are concerned. Exhaust velocities of up to 10,600km/s are estimated, which is far beyond the speed of conventional rockets. Whats more, the technology has been studied extensively over the past few decades, and many proposals have been made.

Artists concept of the Daedalus spacecraft, a two-stage fusion rocket that would achieve up to 12% he speed of light. Credit: Adrian Mann

For example, between 1973 and 1978, the British Interplanetary Society conducted feasibility study known as Project Daedalus. Relying on current knowledge of fusion technology and existing methods, the study called for the creation of a two-stage unmanned scientific probe making a trip to Barnards Star (5.9 light years from Earth) in a single lifetime.

The first stage, the larger of the two, would operate for 2.05 years and accelerate the spacecraft to 7.1% the speed of light (o.071 c). This stage would then be jettisoned, at which point, the second stage would ignite its engine and accelerate the spacecraft up to about 12% of light speed (0.12 c) over the course of 1.8 years. The second-stage engine would then be shut down and the ship would enter into a 46-year cruise period.

According to the Projects estimates, the mission would take 50 years to reach Barnards Star. Adjusted for Proxima Centauri, the same craft could make the trip in 36 years. But of course, the project also identified numerous stumbling blocks that made it unfeasible using then-current technology most of which are still unresolved.

For instance, there is the fact that helium-3 is scare on Earth, which means it would have to be mined elsewhere (most likely on the Moon). Second, the reaction that drives the spacecraft requires that the energy released vastly exceed the energy used to trigger the reaction. And while experiments here on Earth have surpassed the break-even goal, we are still a long way away from the kinds of energy needed to power an interstellar spaceship.

Artists concept of the Project Daedalus spacecraft, with a Saturn V rocket standing next to it for scale. Credit: Adrian Mann

Third, there is the cost factor of constructing such a ship. Even by the modest standard of Project Daedalus unmanned craft, a fully-fueled craft would weight as much as 60,000 Mt. To put that in perspective, the gross weight of NASAs SLS is just over 30 Mt, and a single launch comes with a price tag of $5 billion (based on estimates made in 2013).

In short, a fusion rocket would not only be prohibitively expensive to build, it would require a level of fusion reactor technology that is currently beyond our means. Icarus Interstellar, an international organization of volunteer citizen scientists (some of whom worked for NASA or the ESA) have since attempted to revitalize the concept with Project Icarus. Founded in 2009, the group hopes to make fusion propulsion (among other things) feasible by the near future.

Fusion Ramjet:Also known as the Bussard Ramjet, this theoretical form of propulsion was first proposed by physicist Robert W. Bussard in 1960. Basically, it is an improvement over the standard nuclear fusion rocket, which uses magnetic fields to compress hydrogen fuel to the point that fusion occurs. But in the Ramjets case, an enormous electromagnetic funnel scoops hydrogen from the interstellar medium and dumps it into the reactor as fuel.

Artists concept of the Bussard Ramjet, which would harness hydrogen from the interstellar medium to power its fusion engines. Credit: futurespacetransportation.weebly.com

As the ship picks up speed, the reactive mass is forced into a progressively constricted magnetic field, compressing it until thermonuclear fusion occurs. The magnetic field then directs the energy as rocket exhaust through an engine nozzle, thereby accelerating the vessel. Without any fuel tanks to weigh it down, a fusion ramjet could achieve speeds approaching 4% of the speed of light and travel anywhere in the galaxy.

However, the potential drawbacks of this design are numerous. For instance, there is the problem of drag. The ship relies on increased speed to accumulate fuel, but as it collides with more and more interstellar hydrogen, it may also lose speed especially in denser regions of the galaxy. Second, deuterium and tritium (used in fusion reactors here on Earth) are rare in space, whereas fusing regular hydrogen (which is plentiful in space) is beyond our current methods.

This concept has been popularized extensively in science fiction. Perhaps the best known example of this is in the franchise of Star Trek, where Bussard collectors are the glowing nacelles on warp engines. But in reality, our knowledge of fusion reactions need to progress considerably before a ramjet is possible. We would also have to figure out that pesky drag problem before we began to consider building such a ship!

Laser Sail:Solar sails have long been considered to be a cost-effective way of exploring the Solar System. In addition to being relatively easy and cheap to manufacture, theres the added bonus of solar sails requiring no fuel. Rather than using rockets that require propellant, the sail uses the radiation pressure from stars to push large ultra-thin mirrors to high speeds.

IKAROS spaceprobe with solar sail in flight (artists depiction) showing a typical square sail configuration. Credit: Wikimedia Commons/Andrzej Mirecki

However, for the sake of interstellar flight, such a sail would need to be driven by focused energy beams (i.e. lasers or microwaves) to push it to a velocity approaching the speed of light. The concept was originally proposed by Robert Forward in 1984, who was a physicist at the Hughes Aircrafts research laboratories at the time.

The concept retains the benefits of a solar sail, in that it requires no on-board fuel, but also from the fact that laser energy does not dissipate with distance nearly as much as solar radiation. So while a laser-driven sail would take some time to accelerate to near-luminous speeds, it would be limited only to the speed of light itself.

According to a 2000 study produced by Robert Frisbee, a director of advanced propulsion concept studies at NASAs Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a laser sail could be accelerated to half the speed of light in less than a decade. He also calculated that a sail measuring about 320 km (200 miles) in diameter could reach Proxima Centauri in just over 12 years. Meanwhile, a sail measuring about 965 km (600 miles) in diameter would arrive in just under 9 years.

However, such a sail would have to be built from advanced composites to avoid melting. Combined with its size, this would add up to a pretty penny! Even worse is the sheer expense incurred from building a laser large and powerful enough to drive a sail to half the speed of light. According to Frisbees own study, the lasers would require a steady flow of 17,000 terawatts of power close to what the entire world consumes in a single day.

Antimatter Engine:Fans of science fiction are sure to have heard of antimatter. But in case you havent, antimatter is essentially material composed of antiparticles, which have the same mass but opposite charge as regular particles. An antimatter engine, meanwhile, is a form of propulsion that uses interactions between matter and antimatter to generate power, or to create thrust.

Artists concept of an antimatter-powered spacecraft for missions to Mars, as part of the Mars Reference Mission. Credit: NASA

In short, an antimatter engine involves particles of hydrogen and antihydrogen being slammed together. This reaction unleashes as much as energy as a thermonuclear bomb, along with a shower of subatomic particles called pions and muons. These particles, which would travel at one-third the speed of light, are then be channeled by a magnetic nozzle to generate thrust.

The advantage to this class of rocket is that a large fraction of the rest mass of a matter/antimatter mixture may be converted to energy, allowing antimatter rockets to have a far higher energy density and specific impulse than any other proposed class of rocket. Whats more, controlling this kind of reaction could conceivably push a rocket up to half the speed of light.

Pound for pound, this class of ship would be the fastest and most fuel-efficient ever conceived. Whereas conventional rockets require tons of chemical fuel to propel a spaceship to its destination, an antimatter engine could do the same job with just a few milligrams of fuel. In fact, the mutual annihilation of a half pound of hydrogen and antihydrogen particles would unleash more energy than a 10-megaton hydrogen bomb.

It is for this exact reason that NASAs Institute for Advanced Concepts (NIAC) has investigated the technology as a possible means for future Mars missions. Unfortunately, when contemplating missions to nearby star systems, the amount if fuel needs to make the trip is multiplied exponentially, and the cost involved in producing it would be astronomical (no pun!).

What matter and antimatter might look like annihilating one another. Credit: NASA/CXC/M. Weiss

According to report prepared for the 39th AIAA/ASME/SAE/ASEE Joint Propulsion Conference and Exhibit (also by Robert Frisbee), a two-stage antimatter rocket would need over 815,000 metric tons (900,000 US tons) of fuel to make the journey to Proxima Centauri in approximately 40 years. Thats not bad, as far as timelines go. But again, the cost

Whereas a single gram of antimatter would produce an incredible amount of energy, it is estimated that producing just one gram would require approximately 25 million billion kilowatt-hours of energy and cost over a trillion dollars. At present, the total amount of antimatter that has been created by humans is less 20 nanograms.

And even if we could produce antimatter for cheap, you would need a massive ship to hold the amount of fuel needed. According to a report by Dr. Darrel Smith & Jonathan Webby of the Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Arizona, an interstellar craft equipped with an antimatter engine could reach 0.5 the speed of light and reach Proxima Centauri in a little over 8 years. However, the ship itself would weigh 400 Mt, and would need 170 MT of antimatter fuel to make the journey.

A possible way around this is to create a vessel that can create antimatter which it could then store as fuel. This concept, known as the Vacuum to Antimatter Rocket Interstellar Explorer System (VARIES), was proposed by Richard Obousy of Icarus Interstellar. Based on the idea of in-situ refueling, a VARIES ship would rely on large lasers (powered by enormous solar arrays) which would create particles of antimatter when fired at empty space.

Artists concept of the Vacuum to Antimatter Rocket Interstellar Explorer System (VARIES), a concept that would use solar arrays to power lasers that create particles of antimatter to be used as fuel. Credit: Adrian Mann

Much like the Ramjet concept, this proposal solves the problem of carrying fuel by harnessing it from space. But once again, the sheer cost of such a ship would be prohibitively expensive using current technology. In addition, the ability to create dark matter in large volumes is not something we currently have the power to do. Theres also the matter of radiation, as matter-antimatter annihilation can produce blasts of high-energy gamma rays.

This not only presents a danger to the crew, requiring significant radiations shielding, but requires the engines be shielded as well to ensure they dont undergo atomic degradation from all the radiation they are exposed to. So bottom line, the antimatter engine is completely impractical with our current technology and in the current budget environment.

Alcubierre Warp Drive:Fans of science fiction are also no doubt familiar with the concept of an Alcubierre (or Warp) Drive. Proposed by Mexican physicist Miguel Alcubierre in 1994, this proposed method was an attempt to make FTL travel possible without violating Einsteins theory of Special Relativity. In short, the concept involves stretching the fabric of space-time in a wave, which would theoretically cause the space ahead of an object to contract and the space behind it to expand.

An object inside this wave (i.e. a spaceship) would then be able to ride this wave, known as a warp bubble, beyond relativistic speeds. Since the ship is not moving within this bubble, but is being carried along as it moves, the rules of space-time and relativity would cease to apply. The reason being, this method does not rely on moving faster than light in the local sense.

Artist Mark Rademakers concept for the IXS Enterprise, a theoretical interstellar warp spacecraft. Credit: Mark Rademaker/flickr.com

It is only faster than light in the sense that the ship could reach its destination faster than a beam of light that was traveling outside the warp bubble. So assuming that a spacecraft could be outfitted with an Alcubierre Drive system, it would be able to make the trip to Proxima Centauri in less than 4 years. So when it comes to theoretical interstellar space travel, this is by far the most promising technology, at least in terms of speed.

Naturally, the concept has been received its share of counter-arguments over the years. Chief amongst them are the fact that it does not take quantum mechanics into account, and could be invalidated by a Theory of Everything (such as loop quantum gravity). Calculations on the amount of energy required have also indicated that a warp drive would require a prohibitive amount of power to work. Other uncertainties include the safety of such a system, the effects on space-time at the destination, and violations of causality.

However, in 2012, NASA scientist Harold Sonny White announced that he and his colleagues had begun researching the possibility of an Alcubierre Drive. In a paper titled Warp Field Mechanics 101, White claimed that they had constructed an interferometer that will detect the spatial distortions produced by the expanding and contracting spacetime of the Alcubierre metric.

In 2013, the Jet Propulsion Laboratory published results of a warp field test which was conducted under vacuum conditions. Unfortunately, the results were reported as inconclusive. Long term, we may find that Alcubierres metric may violate one or more fundamental laws of nature. And even if the physics should prove to be sound, there is no guarantee it can be harnessed for the sake of FTL flight.

In conclusion, if you were hoping to travel to the nearest star within your lifetime, the outlook isnt very good. However, if mankind felt the incentive to build an interstellar ark filled with a self-sustaining community of space-faring humans, it might be possible to travel there in a little under a century if we were willing to invest in the requisite technology.

But all the available methods are still very limited when it comes to transit time. And while taking hundreds or thousands of years to reach the nearest star may matter less to us if our very survival was at stake, it is simply not practical as far as space exploration and travel goes. By the time a mission reached even the closest stars in our galaxy, the technology employed would be obsolete and humanity might not even exist back home anymore.

So unless we make a major breakthrough in the realms of fusion, antimatter, or laser technology, we will either have to be content with exploring our own Solar System, or be forced to accept a very long-term transit strategy

We have written many interesting articles about space travel here at Universe Today. Heres Will We Ever Reach Another Star?, Warp Drives May Come With a Killer Downside, The Alcubierre Warp Drive, How Far Is A Light Year?, When Light Just Isnt Fast Enough, When Will We Become Interstellar?, and Can We Travel Faster Than the Speed of Light?

For more information, be sure to consult NASAs pages on Propulsion Systems of the Future, and Is Warp Drive Real?

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How Long Would It Take To Travel To The Nearest Star …

Elon Musk says key to opening up space travel is ‘near complete reusability’ of spacecraft – CNBC

The key to opening up low-Earth orbit, and space travel in general, is building rockets and spacecraft that are almost entirely reusable, said Elon Musk.

Spacecraft have to become as much like any terrestrial or sea-faring vehicle as possible meaning they can be reused again and again Musk said, speaking at the International Space Station Research and Design conference in Washington D.C. on Wednesday.

SpaceX made history in March when it was the first to launch an orbital class rocket into space twice. The company has excelled in driving down the cost of launches, and SpaceX has said reusing them can further push down costs, and dramatically reduce turnaround time, allowing for more launches.

“It’s super hard with space, because we live on a planet with pretty high gravity,” Musk said. This is due to the immense stress placed on spacecraft as it travels in and out of Earth’s atmosphere.

Still though, it is worth it.

“The analogy I use with my team is ‘guys imagine we had 6 million dollars on a pallet of cash,’ ” Musk said. “Six million dollars is falling through the sky. Would we try to catch it?'”

Musk said he thinks the next reused rocket can be launched for about half the cost of launching a new one.

He also said that the Falcon 9 booster might be able to be reflown in 24 hours, by possibly as soon as the end of next year.

“The key to that is you do inspections, and no hardware is changed, not even the paint,” he said.

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Elon Musk says key to opening up space travel is ‘near complete reusability’ of spacecraft – CNBC

What is Virgin Galactic and how much will it cost to travel to space? – Telegraph.co.uk

A lot, at least initially. A seat on a Virgin Galactic flight will cost you $250,000, which hasto be paid up-front as a deposit.

More than 700 people have signed up so far, including celebrities Brad Pitt, Ashton Kutcher, Angelina Jolie, Tom Hanks and Paris Hilton, reports say.

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What is Virgin Galactic and how much will it cost to travel to space? – Telegraph.co.uk

Buzz Aldrin Is Raising Money to Send People to Mars – TIME

(CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla.) Forty-eight years after he landed on the moon, Apollo 11 astronaut Buzz Aldrin on Saturday rolled out a red carpet for the red planet at a star-studded gala at the Kennedy Space Center.

Aldrin, 87, commemorated the upcoming anniversary of the 1969 mission to the moon under a historic Saturn V rocket and raised more than $190,000 for his nonprofit space education foundation, ShareSpace Foundation . Aldrin believes people will be able to land on Mars by 2040, a goal that NASA shares. The space agency is developing the Space Launch System and the Orion spacecraft to send Americans to deep space.

Apollo astronauts Walt Cunningham, Michael Collins and Harrison “Jack” Schmitt joined Aldrin, one of 12 people to walk on the moon, at the sold-out fundraiser.

“I like to think of myself as an innovative futurist,” Aldrin told a crowd of nearly 400 people in the Apollo/Saturn V Center. “The programs we have right now are eating up every piece of the budget and it has to be reduced if we’re ever going to get anywhere.”

During the gala, the ShareSpace Foundation presented Jeff Bezos with the first Buzz Aldrin Space Innovation Award. Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com and the spaceflight company Blue Origin, is trying to bring the cost of space travel down by reusing rockets.

“We can have a trillion humans in the solar system. What’s holding us back from making that next step is that space travel is just too darned expensive,” Bezos said. “I’m taking my Amazon lottery winnings and dedicating it to (reusable rockets). I feel incredibly lucky to be able to do that.”

The foundation also honored former NASA astronaut Mae Jemison, the first African-American woman to travel in space, with the Buzz Aldrin Space Pioneering Award.

“When Buzz says, ‘Get your ass to Mars,’ it’s not just about the physical part of getting to Mars. It’s also about that commitment to doing something big and audacious,” Jemison told The Associated Press. “What we’re doing looking forward is making sure that we use our place at the table.”

Space memorabilia was auctioned at the gala, including an autographed first day insurance “cover” that fetched $42,500 and flew to the surface of the moon. Covers were set up by NASA because insurance companies were reluctant to offer life insurance to pioneers of the U.S. space program, according to the auction website. Money raised from their sale would have paid out to the astronauts’ families in the event of their deaths. The covers were issued in limited numbers and canceled on the day of launch.

The gala is the first part of a three-year campaign leading up to the 50th anniversary of the moon landing to help fund advancements that will lead to the future habitation of Mars.

ShareSpace Foundation on Saturday announced a new nonprofit, the Buzz Aldrin Space Foundation, to create an educational path to Mars. During the past year, the foundation has gifted 100 giant maps of Mars to schools and continues to work with children to advance education in Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Math, or STEAM.

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Buzz Aldrin Is Raising Money to Send People to Mars – TIME

Reebok creates new space boot for astronauts – Metro US

Reebok is expanding its reach to outer space with a new boot being tested by astronauts.

The Massachusetts-based footwear company announced its Floatride Space Boot SB-01 this week, a lightweight space boot developed in partnership with another Bay State manufacturing business, David Clark Company.

The boot has been exclusively designed to accompany the final suit to be worn by astronauts while in Boeings new CST-Starliner, the space capsule that will take the astronauts to and from the International Space Station, according to Reebok. The company said that it’s the first evolution in space footwear in more than 50 years.

Reebok used its Floatride Foam technology to make sure the boot is as lightweight as possible, which Matt Montross from Reebok Innovation said is crucial to efficient and cost-effective space travel.

Weight is a huge factor in space travel with just a single pound having big financial implications, he said in a statement. Traditional space boots were made of rigid leather with firm soles and were not integrated into the actual space suit.

Reeboks Floatride Foam introduced three revolutionary elements to the footwear, he said: It decreased the overall weight significantly, it brought the added comfort in a space boot and support that you would expect in a running shoe, and it delivered a new level of sleekness and style.

Boeing and the David Clark Company also worked together on the new Boeing Bluespacesuit that the Reebok footwear will fit onto. The suit brings together firsthand experience from Chris Ferguson, a veteran astronaut, and the David Clark Companys decades of suit design, development, [testing] and evaluation insight as the makers of more than a dozen air and space suits,” according to Boeing.

The suit (and shoes) will be worn by all Starliner crew members during launch, ascent into space and re-entry to Earth. Along with the Floatride technology, the suit features touchscreen-friendly gloves, a soft helmet that zips closed instead of latches, storage space in the legs and more to ensure its comfortable and safe in outer space.

If you want some Floatride Foam benefits while remaining here on Earth, youre in luck. Reebok also announced this week its Floatride Racer 100g running shoe, which Montross said doesnt sacrifice cushioning in order to provide less weight and more speed.

The Floatride Racer (pictured below) is still undergoing testing and will officially launch in 2018. The Floatride Run is currently available; those shoeswere launched in April and marked the debut of Reeboks Floatride technology.

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Reebok creates new space boot for astronauts – Metro US

relajaelcoco’s singularity results in the exploration of the unknown field of VR graphic design – Designboom

relajaelcocos singularityis a motion graphic experience that creates an abstract, geometric and colorful representation of how a superhuman intelligence would rapidly evolve to make sense of the world around it.it begins with the most basic concepts and walks towards a horizon beyond human understanding. the experimental project is the result of an exploration in the unknown field of VR graphic design, where current rules and design languages originally thought for 2D environments such as paper, websites or apps limit the countless possibilities of 360-stereoscopic spaces.

singularity is developed by spanish studio relajaelcoco, exploring the possibilities of graphic design through VR

madrid based graphic design studio relajaelcoco has created this experience aiming to expand the limits of graphic design by taking advantage of the VR technology.by doing so, the design team explores the use of typography, color and shapes inside infinite spaces and its implications in data visualisation.

this experience aims to expand the limits of graphic design taking advantage of VR technology

relajaelcoco works on the graphic design with flat elements that recreate the perception of a tridimensional space in which the user can experience how abstract visual representations could be realistic. everything is coded, in this way, possibilities can be infinite and uncountable. in fact, that was one of the main goals to reach and imagine how graphic design mixed with coding can be applied to VR environments and extended, in a future, to the mixed reality scenarios.

relajaelcoco explores the use of typography, color and shapes inside infinite spaces

simle shapes and colors create a fluid 360-narrative and sense of spatial perception inside and empty space

everything is coded, achieving uncountable possibilities

one of the goals is to imagine how graphic design mixed with coding can be applied to mixed reality scenarios

the total experience length is four minutes

relajaelcoco specializes in infographic structures and editorial projects, spanning the entire graphic design field

designboom has received this project from our DIY submissions feature, where we welcome our readers to submit their own work for publication. see more project submissions from our readers here.

edited by: apostolos costarangos | designboom

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relajaelcoco’s singularity results in the exploration of the unknown field of VR graphic design – Designboom

New Film ‘Food Evolution’ Takes on One of the Most Polarizing Scientific Topics – Singularity Hub

One Tuesday morning, as his family bustled around the house getting ready for the day, Scott Hamilton Kennedys phone lit up with a text message from his neighbor. Can I borrow some organic milk? she asked. Kennedy replied, You can borrow some milk, but I dont have organic.

Im good, his neighbor said. She then asked another neighbor for organic milk.

The exchange gave Kennedy pause. I started to think about how much our conversation around food might need to be reset, he said. I started thinking about the parents beyond my privileged Los Angeles neighborhood, and how they might be making decisions about their food choices.

Kennedy is an Academy Award-nominated director, and his new film Food Evolution, narrated by Neil deGrasse Tyson and featuring experts like Michael Pollan and Bill Nye, aims to clarify some of the issues around food grown using genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

When I spoke with Kennedy, one of the first questions I had for him was about his motivation to take on this contentious topic; as the film notes, theres a huge gap between public and scientific opinion on GMOs: just 37 percent of the public believes theyre safe to eat, while 88 percent of scientists believe they are.

The best part for me as a storyteller was that, while it was controversial, the GMO story wasnt being told correctly, Kennedy said. So he re-told it from a new angle: instead of pro-GMO or pro-organic, simply pro-science.

The most interesting thing about the GMO debate, Kennedy noted, is that both sides have the best of intentions. Both sides want food thats safe and sustainable, he said. But you have to have data to back up your intentions.

The film hinges around two narratives: papaya in Hawaii and bananas in Uganda. Both stories involve GMO bans being lifted when the technology saved virus-stricken crops. In Hawaii, failing to beat the papaya ring spot virus would have meant an industry going under, farmers losing their livelihoods, and consumers paying much more for the fruit or not being able to buy it at all.

In Uganda, losing the battle against banana wilt would have meant all that too, with the far greater danger of hunger piled on top. Kennedy felt it was crucial to include this story in the film.

Misinformation originates in the rich world, and its damaging the interests of the poor world, he said.

The polemical fruits stories are interspersed with commentary from scientists and food experts, as well as references to peer-reviewed publications.

The movie was commissioned by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), a non-profit society of over 17,000 food scientists around the world, spanning academia, the public sector, and the private sector, for their 75th anniversary. Kennedy said the IFT was looking for film ideas around the larger topic of feeding nine billion people in 2050 in a way thats safe for both people and the planet.

We researched and researched and found the GMO controversy the most interesting, Kennedy said. Before making this movie, I had only heard what everyone else hears.

Now that hes made the movie, I asked him what role he thinks GMOs will play in feeding the population of the future.

Its too early to tell, he replied. Im not defending GMOs, Im defending science. If something better comes along, Ill get behind that. I just hope were using science to move towards having all the options on the table. Its the right thing to do.

Food Evolution is currently playing in select theaters across the US, with additional screenings being added regularly.

Stock Media provided by Curioso_Travel_Photography / Pond5

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New Film ‘Food Evolution’ Takes on One of the Most Polarizing Scientific Topics – Singularity Hub

We Worked Out What It Would Take to Wipe Out All Life on a Planet … – Singularity Hub

The first exoplanet was spotted in 1988. Since then more than 3,000 planets have been found outside our solar system, and its thought that around 20% of Sun-like stars have an Earth-like planet in their habitable zones. We dont yet know if any of these host lifeand we dont know how life begins. But even if life does begin, would it survive?

Earth has undergone at least five mass extinctions in its history. Its long been thought that an asteroid impact ended the dinosaurs. As a species, we are rightly concerned about events that could lead to our own eliminationclimate change, nuclear war, or disease could wipe us out. So its natural to wonder what it would take to eliminate all life on a planet.

To establish a benchmark for this, weve been studying what is arguably the worlds hardiest species, the tardigrade, also known as the water bear for its appearance. Our latest research suggests these microscopic eight-legged creatures or their equivalents on other planets would be very hard to kill off on any planet that was like Earth. The only astrophysical catastrophes that could destroy them are so unlikely theres an insignificant chance of them happening. This extreme survival ability adds weight to the idea that life is hardy enough to be found on other planets less hospitable than our own.

Tardigrades are known to survive incredible conditions. Drop the temperature briefly to -272 or raise it to 150 and they go on.Increase atmospheric pressure to more than 1,000 times that at the Earths surface, or drop it to the vacuum of space and they continue. They can survive for up to 30 years without food or water. They can even withstand thousands of grays (standard doses) of radiation. (Ten grays would be a lethal dose for most humans.)

They live all over the planet but can survive far below the oceans surface, around volcanic vents at the bottom of the Mariana Trench happily oblivious to the life and death of surface-dwelling mammals. Stripping the ozone layer or upper atmosphere would expose humans to lethal radiation but, at the bottom of the ocean, the water overhead would provide shielding.

We wanted to consider what cataclysmic events might be able to finally kill off the hardy tardigrade. What would need to happen to destroy every living thing on the planet? The simplest answer is that all the planets entire oceans would have to boil. On Earth, this would require an incredible amount of energy5.6 x 1026 joules (around a million years of total human energy production at current rates). We therefore have to consider the astrophysical events that could provide such an enormous amount of energy.

There are three primary candidates that could do this: asteroid impacts, supernovae, and gamma-ray bursts. Of these, asteroids are the most familiar. Weve been hit by several over the course of Earths history. But in our solar system there are just 17 candidate objects (including dwarf planets like Pluto and Eris) large enough to provide this energyand none with orbits coinciding with that of Earth.

By looking at the rate of asteroid impacts on Earth, we can extrapolate the rate at which doomsday events like this would likely occur. This turns out to be approximately once every 1017 yearsfar longer than the life of the universe. So its very, very unlikely to ever happen.

Supernovae (massive explosions of stars) release huge amounts of energy1044 joules, which is more than enough to boil our oceans. Fortunately, the energy delivered to a planet rapidly drops off the further away it is from a supernova. So for the Earth, sterilization would require a supernova to occur within around 0.013 light-years. The nearest star apart from the Sun, Proxima Centauri, is 4.25 light years away(and is the wrong type to go supernova).

For Earth-like planets in our galaxy, the distance between stars depends on their distance from the galactic center. The central bulge is more densely populated than our neighborhood. But even closer in, given the rates at which supernovae occur, sterilization is unlikely to happen more than once in 1015 years, again far beyond the age of the universe.

Finally there are gamma-ray bursts, mysterious explosions producing enormous amounts of energy focused into jets of radiation as narrow as a couple of degrees. Analyzing these bursts as we did supernovae, we found that they could only kill off life on an Earth-like planet if their origin was within about 42 light-years and the planet lay within the beam. Again, the rate at which this would occur is sufficiently low that very few planets would ever be sterilized by a gamma-ray burst.

Given how tiny the chances are of any of these apocalyptic events actually happening, were left with the conclusion that tardigrades will survive until the Sun expands about 1 billion years from now. One final, incredibly unlikely possibility is that a passing star could kick a planet out of its orbit. But even then, volcanic vents that host some tardigrades could potentially provide heat for long enough for the planet to be captured by another star.

There are many events, both astrophysical and local, that could lead to the end of the human race. Life as a whole, however, is incredibly hardy. As we begin our search for life away from Earth, we should expect that if life had ever begun on a planet, some survivors might still be there.

This article was originally published on The Conversation. Read the original article.

Stock Media provided by Igor Zhuravlov/ Pond5

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We Worked Out What It Would Take to Wipe Out All Life on a Planet … – Singularity Hub

This Is What Liberated the Power of the Internet, and Why It Matters – Singularity Hub

The earliest internet was built by the military, designed to help scientists around the nation gain access to those rare room-sized computers located at MIT, Stanford, and a few key institutions.

Use of the early ARPAnet was slow, cumbersome, and awkwardthat is, until Marc Andreessen created Mosaic, the first widely-accessible internet browser.

When Mosaic launched in 1993, there were only 26 websites.

In 1994, there were 10,000.

By 1998, there were millions.

Mosaic (later Netscape) was a user interface moment.

A user interface moment is the instant when a technology goes viralwhen a simple interface allows unfamiliar users to build revenue-generating processes on top of a previously convoluted, inaccessible system (e.g., the early internet).

Inthis video, I highlight user interface moments and how to capitalize on them as an entrepreneur.

As discussed, Mosaic wasnt the only important user interface moment in recent history.

Fortran, one of the first programming languages, allowed average users to use complex IBM computers.

The iPhones app store allowed individuals to write programs that can instantly download into the hands of hundreds of millions of users.

Since just 2008, some 300,000 developers have written over two million apps that have been downloaded over 140 billion times.

Developers on the Apple app store generated over $20 billion in revenue in 2016 alone.

As an exponential entrepreneur, it is your job to look at the exponential roadmap ahead and identify user interface moments.

If youre not building them, learn to recognize them, so you can capitalize on them when the moment presents itself.

Stock Media provided by Vladimir Timofeev / Pond5


This Is What Liberated the Power of the Internet, and Why It Matters – Singularity Hub

Rafael Alves Batista and David Sloan – Singularity Hub

Dr. Rafael Alves Batista is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Oxford whose research interests are in ultra-high energy cosmic rays, gamma rays and neutrinos, cosmic magnetic fields and dark matter. He is also interested in physics and astronomy education, and the philosophy of physics.

He is currently working on the “Consolidation of Fine-Tuning” project at Oxford. Broadly speaking, fine-tuning is the idea that the laws of physics are such that small changes in fundamental constants or particle masses might render life impossible. He also works in the search for the highest energy particles in the universe, the ultra-high energy cosmic rays, and is interested in understanding the origin and evolution of magnetic fields in the universe.

Dr. David Sloan is a postdoctoral research associate and the project co-lead for the Consolidation of Fine-Tuning program in BIPAC. This project aims to bring together a broad range of approaches to issues of fine-tuning in a variety of physical settings, culminating in a general picture of how physics is fine-tuned from the big-bang to the formation of the planet Earth (and possibly beyond!)

His research is mostly focused around issues in theoretical cosmologyinflation, quantum gravity, solutions to general relativity. He is particularly interested in measures of the likelihood of inflation, anisotropic models of classical and quantum cosmologies, and loop quantum gravity.

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Rafael Alves Batista and David Sloan – Singularity Hub

Ascension | Ascension Definition by Merriam-Webster

noun ascension -sen(t)-shn

geographical name Ascension -sen(t)-shn

isolated island in the South Atlantic belonging to the British colony of Saint Helena area 34 square miles (88 square kilometers), population 1400

noun ascension -sen-shn

: the act or process of moving or rising up especially to a higher or more powerful position ascension to the throne

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Ascension | Ascension Definition by Merriam-Webster

Around Ascension for July 20, 2017 | Ascension | theadvocate.com – The Advocate

Camp kids get their closeup

United Methodist Church of Gonzales will show Camp Cool Kids, a movie that included children at Camp Istrouma as extras, at 6 p.m. Saturday in the churchs Celebration Center. The public is welcome to attend.

Ascension Parish Library is wrapping up its summer reading programs as the new school year approaches.

Construction zone parties to celebrate the programs’ end will be held at 2 p.m. Monday in Galvez, 10:30 a.m. Wednesday in Donaldsonville and 6 p.m. July 27 in Dutchtown. Children of all ages are invited.

A space exploration program for children of all ages begins at 2 p.m. Tuesday in Galvez. Learn how and why planets orbit the sun, and create a solar system model.

Teen summer reading ends with a Harry Potter-themed Yule Ball at 6 p.m. Monday in Gonzales and 4 p.m. Wednesday in Dutchtown. Activities include being sorted into Hogwarts houses, wand making, snitch decorating and dancing. Chocolate frogs and nonalcoholic butterbeer will be served. Wizardly and formal attire is welcome.

A chance for teens to showcase their talents begins at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday in Dutchtown. Those entering grades six to 12 can participate in open mic night. Bring 10 minutes of material to perform. Friends and family are welcome to watch.

St. Elizabeth Hospital is offering a Growing Up Girls class from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the Sister Vernola conference room.

Its a chance for girls ages 9-11 and their moms to learn about the physical and emotional changes that accompany puberty.

Cost is $15 and preregistration is required. Call (225) 621-2906.

A free interactive program called Not a #Number is teaching youths how to protect themselves from human trafficking and exploitation.

Its being held from 6 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday through July 27 at the Gonzales Branch of Ascension Parish Library. Registration is required; call (225) 621-2906.

The Taking Off Pounds Sensibly weight-loss support group meets Thursdays at Carpenter’s Chapel Church, 41181 La. 933, in Prairieville. Weigh-in starts at 5 p.m. and ends when the meeting begins at 6 p.m.

Call Sylvia Triche at (225) 313-3180 for details.

The Ascension Council on Aging and St. Elizabeth Hospital are sponsoring the Young at Heart Senior Health and Wellness Expo from 9 a.m. to noon July 28 at the Lamar-Dixon Expo Centers 4-H Building.

The monthly senior sock hop also will be held during the expo, beginning at 11 a.m.

Volunteers Ascension is in need of people to help out with the 2017 Ascension Hot Air Balloon Festival, slated for Sept. 22-23. Sign up online at volunteerascension.volunteermatrix.com.

Contact Darlene Denstorff by phone, (225) 388-0215 or (225) 603-1996; or email, ascension@theadvocate.com or ddenstorff@theadvocate.com. Deadline: noon Monday.

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Around Ascension for July 20, 2017 | Ascension | theadvocate.com – The Advocate

Ascension Public Schools wins national award for bond election communications campaign – The Advocate

Ascension Public Schools received the National School Public Relations Associations Gold Medallion Award at the associations national conference in San Antonio, Texas, on July 12.

The award is the associations highest honor and was given to Ascension for its successful 2016 bond election communications campaign, Growing at the Pace of Excellence. Eleven school districts across the country received awards for superior educational public relations programs, with Ascension as Louisianas sole recipient.

“This particular award appropriately affirms the hard work and effort of all those involved in effective communication so that our public would properly understand and agree with our priority for capital improvement projects that includes building new schools,” Ascension Public Schools Superintendent David Alexander said.

Eighty percent of parish residents voted April 9, 2016, in favor of a 15.08 millage to generate $120 million in bonds to fund four new schools and facility improvements, a news release said. The communications plan executed by the school district along with Taylor Media Services was instrumental in the successful vote, reaching the public through community meetings, presentations, a video, mailers, strategic signage, social media and grassroots outreach.

“This campaign was successful because we were all in, from the superintendent, board members and directors to principals, teachers and support staff. Our community trusts that we are good stewards of their financial investments, and they showed that support at the polls,” Assistant Superintendent A. Denise Graves said.

Taylor Media Services has worked with the district since 2003, securing successful passage in multiple elections. Growing at the Pace of Excellence was the first election marketing campaign for Ascension Public Schools Public Information Officer Jackie Tisdell, who has been with the district since 2015.

“Although tremendously humbled by this recognition, we know our work is far from over. We will focus our communication efforts on the construction progress of new schools and renovations,” Tisdell said.

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Ascension Public Schools wins national award for bond election communications campaign – The Advocate

BUSINESS DIGEST: Ascension Texas names new leader – MyStatesman.com


Ascension Texas names new leader

An executive with Houstons renowned Memorial Hermann Health System has been selected to oversee Ascension hospitals in Austin and Waco.

Craig Cordola succeeds Jess Garza as senior vice president of Ascension Healthcare and ministry market executive for Ascension Texas beginning Sept. 1.

In Austin, Ascension operates the Seton Healthcare Family, including Dell Childrens Medical Center of Central Texas. Combined, the facilities employ more than 13,000 people.

Craig is an exceptional choice to lead Ascension Texas, which serves a rapidly growing region where the needs of those we serve continue to expand, Patricia Maryland, executive vice president of Ascension and president and CEO of Ascension Healthcare, said in a written statement.

A University of Texas graduate, Cordola worked for Texas Childrens Hospital and at physician practice management companies in Houston prior to joining Memorial Hermann.


Harley-Davidson cutting 180 jobs after earnings slip

MILWAUKEE Harley-Davidson Inc. is eliminating about 180 production jobs at its plants this fall, union officials said Tuesday, with locations in suburban Milwaukee and Kansas City, Mo., to be hit the hardest.

The 180 permanent job cuts are coming in the next couple of months as the company throttles back production amid weak U.S. motorcycle sales. Temporary furloughs also are expected at the plants.

Harley-Davidson said soft U.S. motorcycle sales resulted in a disappointing fiscal quarter ended June 25.

Net income fell 7.7 percent to $258.9 million, or $1.48 per share, in the three-month period from $280.4 million, or $1.55 per share, a year earlier. Revenue fell to $1.58 billion from $1.67 billion.


Bank of America tops Wall Street forecasts

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Bank of America Corp. on Tuesday reported second-quarter earnings of $5.27 billion.

The bank, based in Charlotte, North Carolina, said it had earnings of 46 cents per share.

The results surpassed Wall Street expectations. The average estimate of eight analysts surveyed by Zacks Investment Research was for earnings of 43 cents per share.

The nations second-largest bank posted revenue of $25.99 billion in the period. Its adjusted revenue was $22.83 billion, also surpassing Street forecasts. Four analysts surveyed by Zacks expected $21.91 billion.

Bank of America shares have increased almost 9 percent since the beginning of the year, while the Standard & Poors 500 index has increased almost 10 percent. The stock has climbed 76 percent in the last 12 months.


U.S. homebuilder sentiment declines in July

U.S. homebuilders are feeling less optimistic about their sales prospects, although their overall outlook remains positive.

The National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo builder sentiment index, released Tuesday, declined to 64 this month. Thats down two points from a downwardly revised reading of 66 in June and the lowest level since November.

Readings above 50 indicate more builders view sales conditions as good rather than poor. The index has been above 60 since September.

The July index fell short of analyst predictions, which called for a reading of 67, according to FactSet.

Readings gauging builders view of sales now and over the next six months also fell from last month. A measure of traffic by prospective buyers also declined.

Sales of new U.S. homes are running ahead of last years pace, reflecting strong demand for homes as the economy has continued to create jobs, pulling the unemployment rate down to a healthy 4.4 percent.

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BUSINESS DIGEST: Ascension Texas names new leader – MyStatesman.com

Ascension Athletics for July 20, 2017 – The Advocate

Gonzales Dixie Youth All-Stars going to World Series

The Gonzales Nationals won the Dixie Youth Machine Pitch state championship in Rayville in a tournament played July 6-9. The squad includes players from all seven Gonzales national league teams voted on by their coaches at the end of the season.

The 8-and-under National All-Stars road to victory was not an easy one as they went through three tournaments to get there. They took on the teams in the USSSA Coaches Pitch tournament as their first pit stop in getting ready for the Dixie state tournament.

The All-Stars from Gonzales then took on the squads in the USSSA All-Star division. The team played their best and went undefeated, taking it all in the state tournament played in Livingston from June 10-11. That performance gave the youngsters the USSSA state championship.

Gonzales Nationals All-Star team took on another batch of teams when they competed in the USSSA AA Red Stick Rumble NIT. Those boys went on a tear and again went undefeated, bringing home that title by defeating the Carrollton Red AA team.

Those exploits led the team to the tournament in Rayville. The All-Stars started off the competition by winning all three pool play games that consisted of 24 teams and made their way to the eight-team championship bracket.

The competition for championship bracket play began July 8 when the Gonzales Nationals took on the team from Ruston, winning 12-7. The team suffered their only defeat of the tournament, falling to East Ouachita 14-4. They rebounded in the next game by scoring a close win over Rayville 5-4.

Championship Sunday saw the Gonzales Nationals coming back to life as they would battle their way out of the losers bracket. The boys started the day by defeating the tournament favorite Benton 13-2. They put the nail in the coffin by taking on East Ouachita, beating them twice, 15-4 and 12-0, to win the title of Dixie Youth Machine Pitch state champions.

If you notice, most of their wins come with relatively low scores for the opponents. According to head coach Coye Templet, The way these 7- and 8-year-old kids respond and play defense is what has carried us through these tournaments weve played so far. Their play is top notch.

I thought we might be top five in the state tournament, but what these young boys have accomplished is remarkable, he said. If they play like they did in state, our chances will be real good at the World Series to do very well.

This win will have the All-Star team traveling to Cleveland, Mississippi, July 28 to Aug. 1 to compete in the Dixie World Series, where they will represent Louisiana against 12 other Southern states for the championship. Congratulations go out to head coach Templet and assistants Brad Elisar, Styles Clouatre, Dean Mire and Ryan Desormeaux.

Tough weather conditions have played a role in the baseball played in regional and state tournaments, but the Gauthier & Amedee Wombats ran into a tornado on Sunday in the form of Townsend Homes. Peyton Broussard held the Ascension Parish team scoreless and handed them their first loss in the state tournament.

In what might be called a very big upset, Townsend won the contest 4-0 as Broussard (2-1) allowed the Wombats 10 base runners, but things didnt go G&As way and seven of them were left stranded. Townsend also benefited from a timely double play as center fielder Lloyd Nash threw out G&As Noah Fontenot in his attempt to score from third following a fly out in the top of the third to keep the Wombats from scoring.

The loss for the Wombats came after a close victory over the River Ridge Patriots on Saturday. Gauthier & Amedee capitalized on some aggressive base running. After seven scoreless innings of baseball, Fontenot drew a one-out walk. Cameron Crawford was called on to execute a sacrifice bunt and laid down a perfect bunt to third base good enough for a single. Fontenot then advanced to third by sprinting to the uncovered base on the bunt single to third.

River Ridge pitcher Will Ripoll faked a pickoff attempt toward Fontenot with runners at the corners. He did not complete the throw, which is a balk in Legion ball. Fontenot was directed home and Crawford headed to second. Zane Zeppuhar helped his own cause by hitting an infield single and Crawford then scored from second on more aggressive base running that accounted for the winning run.

Townsend and Gauthier & Amedee played 4 scoreless innings when Townsend went to work. Right fielder Riley Loupe was hit by a pitch with one out. The first of three Wombat errors in the inning allowed runners at first and second. A blooper single loaded the bases and a ground-out scored Loupe from third base.

Cade Pregeant and Nash both scored on Gauthier & Amedees second infield error of the inning, then Dellary Oubre scored on the third error of the inning, a throwing error involving his steal of third base.

The double elimination tournament gives the Wombats an opportunity to make their way back in the losers bracket. By press time, Gauthier & Amedee (23-5-1) will have played an elimination game against the Southland Hogs (20-7) scheduled for 12:30 p.m. Monday.

Tyson Buras, a wounded veteran from Reserve, was fishing in the Wounded War Heroes Tournament out of Grand Isle last weekend aboard Smokey Scanlans boat with a team from Ascension Parish.

The Grand Isle offshore fishing rodeo held out of Bridgeside Marina was a saltwater fishing rodeo for 20 Wounded War Heroes injured veterans, providing one of many outdoor activities to relax and socialize with other veteran brothers. Wounded War Heroes events are showing appreciation to men and women returning home from fighting for our country.

Their sole purpose is to show veterans that they have not been forgotten for their courageous service to our country. Wounded War Heroeshas more than 100 events each year allowing nearly 500 opportunities for wounded veterans to spend time in the outdoors with their brothers and sisters of the military.

The group was fishing some lumps south of Block 152 in 400 feet of water, targeting red snapper. Buras let out his line to the bottom baited with squid and felt the tap of a fish, setting the hook to begin the long reel up to the top, just like one of the many times he did before on this trip. But what he hauled on board was just a little more than eye-opening. A fish called a red cornet was dangling from his hook, and like most anglers and the other folks aboard, their jaws dropped a little at what they saw.

Although the waters in the northern Gulf of Mexico are suitable for the fish, it is a very rare catch here. Retired LSU fishery biologist Jerald Horst said, Ive only seen one red cornetfish caught in the Gulf in my entire career. They are very rare here.

Sam Caston, a wounded veteran who was a participant at one time and is now a board member of Wounded War Heroes, was on the boat when the fish was caught. Several of our most active folks live right here in the Ascension Parish area. We love to be a blessing to our returning heroes, he said.

Visit woundedwarheroes.org to find out about the organizations efforts to bring some outdoor fun to our wounded veterans.

Lyle Johnson, a writer and host of the Ascension Outdoors cable TV show, covers sports and the outdoors for The Ascension Advocate. He can be contacted at reelman@eatel.net or ascension@theadvocate.com.

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Ascension Athletics for July 20, 2017 – The Advocate

Four Ascension Parish deputies graduate from CARTA; two with top … – Weekly Citizen

Ascension Parish Deputies Niki Anderson, Ian Bailey, Logan Boudreaux, and Trenton Hebert graduated from the Capital Area Regional Training Academy (CARTA) in Baton Rouge on Tuesday, July 11.

Capital Area Regional Training Academy (CARTA) is a product of the East Baton Rouge Sheriffs Office. There were 38 graduates representing 14 different agencies from across the state. The graduates learned physical training, legal and report writing skills, law enforcement history, and numerous other topics and skills.

Deputy Logan Boudreaux was awarded the top gun award and Deputy Niki Anderson was awarded the top academic award.

This graduation represents 11 weeks of hard work and resulted in all of these deputies attaining their POST certification, said Sheriff Jeff Wiley.

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Four Ascension Parish deputies graduate from CARTA; two with top … – Weekly Citizen